50 Years of "The Pill": Celebrating a golden anniversary

Anne Szarewski*, Diana Mansour, Lee P. Shulman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The past 50 years have seen great advances in combined oral contraceptives (COCs) that have resulted in reduced risks of adverse events and improved cycle control. The most important changes in COCs over time include repeated lowering of the estrogen dose, development of new progestogens, and the reduction or elimination of the pill-free interval. Most recently, formulations that deliver estradiol in lieu of ethinylestradiol have been introduced. The advantages of COCs generally far outweigh the disadvantages. Current options in oral contraception include a wide spectrum of products that enable clinicians to choose the most appropriate formulation for individual women. This article summarises the advances in oral contraceptives over time and describes the most current clinical data regarding the use of COCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Combined oral contraceptives
  • Venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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